Hospital cleaning monitoring can help optimise patient safety.
Hospital cleaning monitoring can be split into two categories:
The two categories are ward cleanliness and cleaning equipment location.
Daily Hospital Ward cleanliness is the responsibility of ward staff such as nurses and housekeepers.
In addition, wards are periodically closed for what is known as ‘deep cleaning’.
Deep cleaning involves taking beds and furniture apart, to clean any hairs and dirt, that may have been missed during regular cleaning.
Once the deep cleaning staff have completed this task, the Ward is sealed airtight, and a special machine pumps special vapour into the ward, to totally kill off any remaining germs.
Once the deep cleaning process has been completed, the hospital ward is ready to be handed back to the ward staff, to re-open.
Hospitals are busy places, and despite periodic deep cleaning, germs may accumulate, his is where IOT can help.
IoT, which is short for the Internet Of Things, allows sensors to monitor a variety of environmental conditions.
This data is then periodically sent from the sensors to a device called a gateway.
The job of the gateway is to put the data received from the sensors, into the Internet ‘cloud’, or a local (in building) server.
By attaching appropriate sensors to areas such as the floors of wards, water supplies and beds, enables fast reactive maintenance to resolve high contamination levels.
By using sensors to ‘know’ when areas of a hospital need cleaning, enables the cleaning schedules to be scheduled based on need, and not fixed set periodic timescales.
Legionnaires Disease procedures are carried out in hospitals on a daily basis.
The disease can spread in water systems that are infrequently used, therefore taps have to be run every day.
The task of running hospital taps & showers is usually carried out by healthcare assistants, or housekeepers.
Taps are run for a minimum of two minutes, and in many hospitals, paper-based recording systems are still used.
The completed paper-based forms are kept, as legal proof that the task has been done. These forms are signed and dated daily.
By incorporating sensors into the water pipes, and feeding the data back to a central location, bacteria levels (Legionnaires disease etc), can be monitored.
The second hospital cleaning monitoring category concerns the location of physical cleaning assets, such as mops, electric floor polishers, and even ‘wet floor’ signs.
In my experience of working in a hospital, equipment tends to move around, and is often hard, to track down its location.
This is due to staff on different shifts, needing equipment, and coming and removing it from where it normally is located.
By incorporating wireless sensors, physical assets can easily be located, which saves time.
Another bonus of incorporating location sensors into cleaning assets is that electrical items can be found for PAT (Portable Appliance Testing).
Author: Craig Miles, founder of Yesway Ltd.